Fireside Quilt Sew Along Week 1: Pick Fabric

It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!

Are you ready to snuggle up by the fire and get cozy? I hope so because we're kicking off fall with the Fireside quilt pattern! In this five week sew along we will cover tips on picking, cutting, sewing, trimming and finishing a quilt. These helpful posts are in addition to the PDF pattern, so even though we won't cover every single step of the process, we are here to answer all questions and help as much as you need.

For those who have sewn along with me and the SQ community before, welcome back friends! Some things in this sew along will be routine, but hopefully some things will feel fresh too.

As a reminder, you do not sign up for SQ sew alongs. You simply sew along with us! These posts will remain free and public on the blog in the Sew Along section so you can revisit them any time.

Quickie Sew Along Review

  • Sign-up: You do not sign up for the sew along, however I highly recommend signing up for the Suzy Quilts newsletter so you stay up to date with our weekly blog posts and prizes.
  • Sewing Questions: You've got questions, we've got answers! The best place to ask your technical sewing questions Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group. The main purpose of sew alongs is to answer questions that pop up during the quilt-making process so don't ever worry about asking a "stupid" question. They don't exist!
  • Weekly IG LIVE Videos: We're back with IG LIVE videos (YAY!!) so join me every Tuesday at 8pm CST
  • Prizes and Discounts: Aside from having a beautiful finished quilt top, you also can win weekly prizes by using #FiresideQuiltSA in the comments of your posts on Instagram. More details on that are at the bottom of this post.

The following longarmers will be offering 25% off longarm quilting on all Fireside quilts for at least three months after the sew along: 

Fireside Sew Along Schedule

Fireside Fabric Requirements

For this sew along, I'll show the process of not one, but TWO Fireside quilts!

  1. My first quilt will be a scrappy limited-color throw in green and cream.
  2. Quilt number two is a multi-colored baby quilt made by my lovely sewing assistant, Omoleye. She put together this fabric pull and really pushed me out of my comfort zone — so many colorful prints! I think it's going to be fabulous and I'm excited to talk about fabric placement and how she landed on these fabrics.

You'll see tips about both quilts throughout the sew along, so no matter which direction you're going, I'll be right there with you. Don't forget, to win the final Week 5 grand prize, you'll need to be making a throw or larger. 

The Fireside quilt pattern download is a bold modern quilt design that is great for beginners. Includes queen, twin, throw and baby sizes. suzyquilts.com
The Fireside quilt pattern download is a bold modern quilt design that is great for beginners. Includes queen, twin, throw and baby sizes. suzyquilts.com

If You Are New to Quilting...

I'm so glad you're here! This is a fantastic pattern for you and a sew along is the perfect way to explore, learn and grow your quilting skills. I have more resources for you that are helpful and quick to read.

Week 1 Assignment: Pick Fabric

I have something important to tell you, so listen up — picking fabric takes longer than you think it will. It just does and the amount of time it takes you to pick fabric has nothing to do with your skill in doing it. 

To tell you the truth, picking fabric is usually not something I do in a single sitting. My favorite way to pull a quilt together is to make an initial grouping of fabric then leave it. Sometimes I even leave it for days.

Once a little (or a lot) of time has passed, I come back and see it with new eyes. One reason this works well for me is because picking fabric can come with a lot of unexpected emotions and expectations. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:

  • Fabric, fabric, FABRIC! I love beautiful fabric! I can't wait to jump into a new project!!
  • I love this and I love that and OMG I LURVE SO MANY! I want to use them ALL!!
  • But does this color goooo with that one? Is there enough contrast or maybe one is too bright and the other too muted? Are these prints the right scale for this pattern??
  • Oh gosh...I think I might be bad at picking fabric. It's been over an hour!
  • OH NO! I am a total imposter!! Yes, it's decided. I am factually reeeeeally bad at picking fabric because it should NOT take anyone this long. Somehow all of the fabric I own is on the floor and my stomach hurts. What do I do?? I HATE EVERYTHING!!

Maybe your fabric picking journey isn't wrought with as many emotions as mine, but if it is, I want you to know that you're not alone and you're not weird. You're also not bad at it. Picking fabric for a quilt is a big part of the creative process. (Maybe even the biggest part?)

It's OK if this takes you longer than the other steps in the quilt-making process. It can take me hours and many times days to finalize a fabric pull.

Fabric Picking Tips

  • Read the blog post 6 Ways to Tackle Your Fear of Wasting Fabric. This post has some great practical tips for taking the fear out of choosing fabric.
  • Look at the pattern mock-ups. Check out the last pages of the Fireside PDF pattern for added color ideas. 
  • Get inspired by surfing Pinterest. It sounds too simple, but I do it all the time! Wanna know my secret weapon for picking fabric? Find color combinations from sources outside of quilting! Interior design, fashion, nature, art—anything!
  • Let your fabric be your guide. Buy all or some of your fabric from the same fabric collection. Match coordinating solids or prints to a favorite fabrics. You can also look at the selvage of a print to see all of the colors used in the fabric.
It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!

Quilt #1 Fabric (Limited-Color Throw)

If you want a simple, striking quilt, I suggest making the limited-color version. You could even pair down the fabrics by combining Colors 2 and 3 to make a bold two-color quilt. Here are two examples.

It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!
  • Color 1: Art Gallery Fabrics PURE solid Coconut Milk, plus light-colored scraps from my stash for a scrappy look. I am cutting the rectangles and strips required to make a throw from all of these fabrics. Since some of my scraps are shorter than WOF (42") I'll cut extra strips just so I know I'll have enough. My plan is to piece all of the strips together as needed.
  • Color 2: Art Gallery Fabrics PURE solid Patina Green
  • Color 3: Art Gallery Fabrics PURE solid Fresh Sage
It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!
It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!

Here are some cozy fall-themed mockups of limited-color Fireside quilts using three different colors:

It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!

Quilt #2 Fabric (Multi-Color Baby)

For this second quilt I started off with a lovely fabric pull of just Art Gallery PURE solids. Then I thought, "Would it be more helpful for you to see how prints work in this pattern?" While thinking this through, my sewing assistant, Omoleye, was in the studio and weighed in on the changes. 

I know you won't believe me when I say this, but I intentionally keep my fabric stash relatively small. (GASP! I know, right??) Because of this, pulling prints from my stash was a little tricky. You can find my original list of solids in this Fireside sew along intro post.

Omoleye and I went back and forth on what should stay and what should go. In the end I stepped back and let her take the reins. Mixing bright prints is not my natural instinct or, in truth, my go-to aesthetic, and I wanted you to see something fresh!

It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!

Also, Omoleye had her nails painted with Fireside designs so it was obvious we needed to use them as inspiration!

It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!

Here's what Omoleye came up with. Because the strips for the baby quilt are only 1.75" wide, smaller prints or abstract prints work best. She paired each print with a solid so the blocks aren't too busy.

Another thing to keep in mind is fabric placement in the Fireside pattern. After pulling these fabrics we wanted to make sure there was a solid fabric "buffer" between each print, so our colors would look something like this:

It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!
  • Color 1: print
  • Color 2: solid
  • Color 3: solid
  • Color 4: print
  • Color 5: solid
  • Color 6: print
  • Color 7: print
  • Color 8: solid
  • Color 9: print
  • Color 10: solid

This Sevenberry floral quilt is a perfect example of the solid-to-print buffer.

Fireside is big, bold and beginner friendly! Use lots of different kinds of prints to make this fun sewing pattern. suzyquilts.com

After doing a very rough mockup of these colors, I noticed that two bright blues of similar shades would be right next to each other, so I shifted the colors around a bit.

It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!

Omoleye also had a great tip that if you get a collection or bundle of fabric, it's a lot faster and easier to add fabrics from your stash, rather than starting from ground zero like we did.

Fore more fabric and color information check out these posts:

It's week 1 in the Fireside quilt sew along and we have lots of fun tips for picking your fabric. Join us!

Week 1 Sponsor & Prizes

One of our favorite sewing shops is the sponsor for this first week's prize—Global Fiber Textiles & Notions! By posting a pic to IG and using #FiresideQuiltSA you are entered to win a Holiday count down box with 31 fat quarters to open every day in December. For everyone else, a 10% off discount on all Countdown boxes preordered by sew along participants, use code SUZYSCOUNTDOWN through October 15 at globalfibershop.com.

How to Win

  • Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your sew along progress. Use #FiresideQuiltSA in the caption.
  • You must have a public Instagram profile to participate.
  • Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
  • Your photo must be posted between Friday, September 23 and Friday, September 30. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. on the 30th. Good luck!

4 thoughts on “Fireside Quilt Sew Along Week 1: Pick Fabric

  1. Leanne says:

    I’m with you on sometimes taking days to pick fabric.w I intentionally sleep on it at least one night and see if I feel the same about it the next day. If not, rinse and repeat as many, times as it takes 😉
    Thanks for always making easy to follow patterns.
    aka mom4kmp_quilt_crazy

  2. Karin Gaffney Christensen says:

    Absolutely agree about letting the initial choices sit. I like to think I get the perfect combination right out of the gate, but it almost always ends up being the starting point that, over the next day or two, allows my brain to mull it all over and come up with new, better ideas.

    Here’s to a fun Fireside sew-along! 💜🧵✂️

  3. Katie Sward says:

    Definitely can relate to all those complicated emotions on picking fabric and almost always takes days (and more days!) This somehow boosts my confidence – thanks!!

  4. Susan Seibert says:

    I would love to see the fabric choices named especially the ones Omoleye chose. For those of us who are design fabric choice challenged, this helps

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